Online dating service for Christian singles, ChristianMingle.com, now has to allow searches for same-sex relationships on the site.
The new order comes from a judge-approved settlement following the class-action lawsuit filed by two gay men against the site’s owner, Spark Networks Inc., which is based in California. The lawsuit claimed that the site violated California’s anti-discrimination law by not allowing options for users to meet singles of the same sex, the Wall Street Journal reported.
ChristianMingle had required new users to specify whether they were a man seeking a woman or a woman seeking a man. But according to the state law known as the Unruh Civil Rights Act, “business establishments” are required to offer “full and equal accommodations” to people regardless of their sexual orientation.
For now, ChristianMingle will only ask whether a user is a man or woman under the agreement. Spark Networks agreed to make adjustments to search and profile features within two years providing a more tailored experience for gay and lesbian singles, the Journal reported.
In addition, Spark Networks, which did not admit any wrongdoing as part of the agreement, agreed to pay each plaintiff $9,000 and $450,000 in attorneys’ fees.
The settlement terms, approved by a state judge on Monday, also applied to other Sparks sites, including CatholicMingle.com, AdventistSinglesConnection.com and BlackSingles.com.
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